Former Presidential Candidate Tells Educated Dreamer To Go To Another Country
On a recent episode of CNN’s “Messy Truth,” anxious Dreamer Elizabeth Vilchis shared concerns that she could be deported when Trump becomes president in January.
“I will lose my career – my career will come to an end – if [DACA] ends. And I will also potentially be labeled for deportation,” Vilchis told Messy Truth panelists, which consisted of CNN pundit Van Jones, Ana Navarro, and former Senator Rick Santorum.
As a Dreamer, Vilchis is one of the more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country when they were minors.
Vilchis was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when she was seven years old. Because of the DACA program, which protect people in situations similar to Vilchis’, she was able to get her degree in mechanical engineering, and has spent the past decade helping students enter careers in engineering.
After explaining her story to the panelists, Vilchis asked, “How would you advise someone like me for planning their future?”
For anyone in her situation, this question could provide people very helpful insights on how they can protect themselves in the coming months. However, former Senator Rick Santorum’s answer was anything but helpful.
“You have the ability to go to any other country right now and apply those wares and be successful and then reapply to come back to America if you so choose.”
In short: don’t let the door hit you on the way out. That was the response from former Senator Rick Santorum, effectively telling Vilchis to look elsewhere for work. If Vilchis was deported, the process to return to the U.S. for her specifically could take up to 10 years, which would undo everything she’s worked for.
Santorum’s response drew outrage on social media.
How does turning away educated, productive members of society benefit the U.S.?
— Jose Antonio Ojeda (@ojedasbodega) December 7, 2016
As an engineer, Vilchis is working in a field that is very necessary to for an economy’s health. However, over the last several years, the U.S. has seen a marked decline in students looking for careers in this field.
Those who have followed Santorum’s career know that this is par for course.
— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) December 7, 2016
On the positive side, Trump has claimed he is willing to “work something out” for people in Vilchis’ situation.
Keep in mind that Trump has also appointed a climate change denier to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a man who opposes minimum wage increases as secretary of labor, and an unqualified man as secretary of housing and urban development. So leaning on Trump’s word might not be the most responsible approach to long term life plans.
If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s the compassionate words Ana Navarro had for Elizabeth Vilches.
“You’ve got to tell your story, and change and affect public opinion. Because your stories are beautiful. They’re the stories of the American dream.”
Afterward, Navarro tweeted more words of encouragement.
Proud of this young woman's courage sharing her story. She's American in her heart. She's making ours a better country. We will stand w/her. https://t.co/qP4eYfeHml
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) December 7, 2016